JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – 11 players scored for the Carson-Newman Lady Eagles (14-3, 8-3 South Atlantic Conference) led by sophomore guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) who poured in a career-high 24 points on 9 of 19 shooting in a 91-54 rout of the Tusculum Pioneers (3-11, 3-8 SAC) Wednesday night at Holt Fieldhouse.
"Losing two scorers, I think coach said they take 18 shots a game so that's a lot to make up for," Brooks said. "We knew coming in that someone was going to have to step up and take care of those roles and the ball."
The Lady Eagles had its highest point output of the year at 91, their largest margin of victory at 37, their highest field goal percentage at 51 percent while yielding their second-lowest points this year at 54 and field goal percentage at 27 percent.
Carson-Newman fell behind 16-13 before locking down defensively and hitting some outside jump shots. Three-pointers from sophomore guards Brooks and Carly Pippin (Sevierville, Tenn.) started a 22-8 run to close out the first half of basketball. Tusculum made 5 of its final 21 shots in the opening frame while Carson-Newman converted 9 of its final 15.
The Lady Eagles dominated the paint scoring 22 points in the paint and 14 second chance points. Brooks led the way with 10 points while sophomore forward Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.) chipped in seven points and four rebounds.
The second half was an offensive clinic as the Lady Eagles went 22-for-37 from the floor, 60 percent while holding Tusculum to 7 of 28 shooting, 25 percent.
Holding a 39-31 lead with 18:32 to play in the game, Carson-Newman went on a 15-2 run to the 14:53 mark to take a 54-33 lead. It would be a lead that the Lady Eagles would only extend the rest of the game.
"We had the 11-point and we played pretty good in the first half," head coach Mike Mincey said. "We knew we had to come out and win those first five minutes and not let them sneak back into the game. I thought our kids came out with the right mindset and put the ball in the basket early. I praised them in the huddle because they did exactly what we asked them to do."
Cupples finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists while freshman forward Jecca Simerly (Talbott, Tenn.) had 11 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Lacy Miller (Dandridge, Tenn.) had six points, five rebounds, three steals and a career-high eight assists.
One player scored in double figures for the Pioneers as Brianna Mitchell had 12 points. Tusculum's leading scorer, Shynese Whitener averaging 14 a game, had seven points on 2 of 12 shooting.
Carson-Newman takes to the road for the final time in January this Saturday where the Newberry Wolves are the opponent for a 2 p.m. opening tap. Fans can find the game on the Eagle Sports Network's flagship station 106.3 WPFT-FM or by visiting cneagles.com/live.
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